Toilet tissue and paper towel manufacturer Cottonsoft and awareness and advocacy organization Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa (BBCA) are proving a good match. Cottonsoft items were exchanged for gold coins at two major recent events, raising a combined $4,450 for the national charity, which receives no government funding and is heavily reliant on private donations and corporate support to further its mission.
In May Cottonsoft donated goods and discount vouchers for use at the Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon, then supported BBCA during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month at the NZ National Agricultural Fieldays 2014 in Hamilton in June. For the four-day event, which is a landmark in the rural calendar, the company donated 30,000 seat covers, toilet tissue packs and discount vouchers that were snapped up by attendees.
This fundraising round follows Cottonsoft’s move to become primary sponsor of the charity last year. With the help of a number of celebrity ambassadors, including Nigel Latta, Sam Neill, Valerie Adams, and the All Blacks Owen and Ben Franks, Cottonsoft produced a Christmas-themed video urging New Zealanders to ‘give a crap’ and stop letting shyness contribute to the national bowel cancer statistics, which (alongside Australia) is the highest in the world.
The company has since solidified its public support for BBCA by redesigning its packaging to feature the organization’s logo to support the BBCA’s mission, which includes calling for a nationwide screening programme to increase early detection and raise the New Zealand survival rate. Around 75% of cases can be treated successfully if diagnosed at an early stage.
At present, bowel cancer kills 1,200 New Zealanders annually (the same number as succumb to breast and prostate cancer combined).